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Operation of a submerged aerobic membrane bioreactor for decentralised municipal wastewater treatment in North Africa

Skouteris, G, Arnot, TC, Feki, F, Jraou, M and Sayadi, S (2012) Operation of a submerged aerobic membrane bioreactor for decentralised municipal wastewater treatment in North Africa Water Practice and Technology, 7 (3).

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A pilot-scale aerobic membrane bioreactor (MBR) was operated for 6.5 months, alongside a full-sized conventional activated sludge (AS) plant, treating high-strength domestic wastewater originating from Sfax in Tunisia. The main target was to investigate whether or not the MBR could produce effluent suitable for unrestricted crop irrigation in Tunisia, a target that the AS plant fails to achieve. Membrane performance analysis and energy benchmarking were also carried out. The MBR did produce irrigation quality water regardless of the mixedliquor suspended solids (MLSS) or feed concentrations. The average chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency was 88% at an average MLSS concentration of 4.59 g L -1, and 89.7% at an average MLSS concentration of 9.52 g L -1. During membrane performance evaluation, a maximum sustainable membrane permeate flux of 12.81 L m -2 h -1, at an average mixed-liquor temperature of 24 °C and an average MLSS concentration of 9.21 g L -1 was maintained. Finally, energy benchmarking was carried out; the average energy consumption rate was 8.95 kWh d -1, corresponding to an average specific energy demand (SED) of 3.82 kWh m -3. This is a relatively high value compared to the AS plant, whose SED value is always lower than 3 kWh m -3, but further energy reduction is possible for the MBR as well as the AS plant effluent requires further treatment in order to be acceptable for unrestricted human crop irrigation; hence, additional energy input. The work demonstrates the potential impact of MBRs in decentralised domestic wastewater treatment in North Africa. © IWA Publishing 2012.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Arnot, TC
Feki, F
Jraou, M
Sayadi, S
Date : 19 October 2012
DOI : 10.2166/wpt.2012.055
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:17
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 23:45

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